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In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
A woman leaves an abusive relationship to begin a new life in a new city, where she forms an unlikely and ironic relationship with a suicidal hit man (unbeknownst to her). Enter a worn, alcoholic detective to form the third party in a very unusual triangle as this story begins to unfold. Written by
Dialogue. The dialogue is very realistic. I was shouting the same exact responses the characters did BEFORE they spoke them.
Continuity/editing: Someone was paying real close attention. I can't remember seeing such perfect continuity. The two cops confabbing in the car is a perfect example.
Camera work: as an example, the church scene is nice and wide which equals powerful.
Pace: the pace was spot-on for this story. The pace matched the characters, their actions, and motives.
The story: the story was a nice little slice of life. The Merry Gentleman almost reminded me of a foreign flick. Hey, maybe Keaton has started a new genre: Formerican.
Michael Keaton: His body language, his walk, and his facial expressions were an asset to his character. One exception: that wasn't you Michael walking away on the grass. I could tell. I needed to know that was you walking away. Clearly, it was not. You used a body double and that was a big let down.
The other actors: Nice ensemble who all worked well and off one another.
Okay, a woman sees a man on the top of a building after he's just made a hit. Who cares if you can figure out what's going to happen next, or to whom? Is that why we watch movies? To be brilliant? Look, it's not the story that drives The Merry Gentleman. It's the characters. And those who said they don't care about the characters - perhaps you don't care in the way you care whether Chief Brody makes it out of the ocean alive - but you care. Or at least, you're curious.
The two things I don't like: 1. The title. 2. The DVD cover photo.
Watch this movie because Michael Keaton did many satisfying things creating and telling the story Hopefully, we'll see more of him as a director and an actor. He Michael, do you read any unsolicited scripts?
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